The Golden Ass by Apuleius
(Penguin Classics)

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Synopsis

Written towards the end of the second century AD, The Golden Ass tells the story of the many adventures of a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to be transformed into a donkey. The bewitched Lucius passes from owner to owner - encountering a desperate gang of robbers and being forced to perform lewd 'human' tricks on stage - until the Goddess Isis finally breaks the spell and Lucius is initiated into her cult. Apuleius' enchanting story has inspired generations of writers such as Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats with its dazzling combination of allegory, satire, bawdiness and sheer exuberance, and remains the most continuously and accessibly amusing book to have survived from Classical antiquity.
 

About Apuleius

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Lucius Apuleius (2nd Century AD) North African fubulist, who Latinized the Greek myths and legends. He travelled widely, visiting Italy, Asia &c and was there initiated into numerous religious mysteries. The knowledge which he thus acquired of the priestly fraternities he drew on for his Golden Ass. E.J. Kenney is Emeritus Kennedy Professor of Latin in the University of Cambridge. His publications include a critical edition of Ovid's amatory works. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.
 
Published May 28, 1998 by Penguin. 324 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction

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